The Linkage Service

The Linkage Service was established in 2000 as a joint initiative between Business in the Community Ireland and the Probation Service, with support from IBEC, the Small Firms Association, and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. It is now under the management of IASIO (Irish Association for the Social Integration of Offenders).The aim of Linkage is to help ex-offenders access
appropriate training, education, and employment with the ultimate objective of desistance from crime and full
integration into the community.


It is an established service with an extensive track record of success. It provides support for employers and employees through its extensive network of Training and Employment Officers covering all parts of the country.

The Linkage Service establishes links between employers and former offenders referred by Probation Officers. It provides a great opportunity for companies who are committed to promoting the economic and social interests of their local communities, by giving ex-offenders a second chance. To date over 8,000 people have been placed in further training, education or employment through the Linkage Service.

Why Should Irish Businesses get involved in The Linkage Service?

  • Professional TEOs carefully match the right person to the job following extensive screening and psychometric assessment , cutting down on recruitment costs for employers
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: Providing employment opportunities for suitably qualified candidates with a criminal record provides an extremely valuable service to the community in helping to reduce recidivism.
  • Ex-offenders are often very committed, hard working and loyal employees as they do not forget that they are being given a second chance.
  • High quality skills-training is provided in Irish prisons.
  • Some companies have found that the employment of ex-offenders has had a positive effect on their business leading to a highly motivated and dedicated workforce and customer respect. (IBEC)

What does The Linkage Service offer the Employer?

A pool of dedicated employees from which to choose. Every candidate referred to Linkage is assigned to a Training and Employment Officer (TEO), who carries out an assessment and works closely with the candidate to prepare him or her for training and/or employment placement. Through working intensively with the TEO, the candidate has the opportunity to demonstrate that he/she is committed, job ready, job specific, and eager to begin a new life. The TEO also offers employers and candidates ongoing support following suitable employment.

“Without The Linkage Service, I don’t think I would have found my way back. It helped me to realise there is always another way, always more options if I just look for them”.
‘Alice’, Linkage candidate

Key benefits:

Highly motivated, job ready candidates with desire to succeed
TEO reference, giving an extensive history of candidate
Full after-placement support for both candidate and employer as needed
Psychometric testing and Reports
Recruitment needs met at no cost to the employer

Next Steps – How can your company get involved?

  • Meet with one of our TEOs to discuss your staffing needs and skills deficits.
  • Offer advice and expertise on your particular sector
  • Give a talk about your industry to ex-offenders, including recruitment procedures expectations and qualifications sought.
  • Provide temporary work experience opportunities – this works particularly well for young ex-offenders who have not yet decided on a career direction.
  • Offer an internship to suitable candidates
  • Provide a mentoring service to interested candidates
  • Implement a shadowing or buddy system in your company for new employees
  • Provide employment opportunities for suitably qualified candidates